Students interested in mastering the art of persuasion have the opportunity to hone their skills tomorrow at UCSB’s 10th Annual Student Leadership Expo.

The event, which will run from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. in Corwin Pavilion, will feature guest speakers and skill-building workshops focusing on leadership necessities like networking skills. The event is free for all UCSB students, $3 for other California college and high school students, and includes dinner and dessert provided by Paterno’s restaurant in the UCen.

UCSB First Year Programs and Leadership Education Director Britt Andreatta said she expects about 500 to 600 students from schools as far away as San Diego and San Luis Obispo to attend.

“Literally, buses are coming up from other campuses to take part in this training,” Andreatta said.

The theme of this year’s exposition, “Empowering Beyond Borders,” concentrates on how students can use their leadership skills to effect change in their lives and the lives of others.

Santa Barbara-based humanitarian aid organization Direct Relief International President and CEO Thomas Tighe will serve as this year’s keynote speaker, discussing the leadership skills that earned Direct Relief a spot on Worth magazine’s list of “America’s Best 100 Charities.”

The event also includes three sessions of workshops for students to attend, ranging from subjects such as time management to the art of delegation, said Korianne Tom, a Capps leadership intern and fourth-year speech and hearing sciences major.

Some of the sessions will include panels featuring Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Michael Young, Dean of Students Yonie Harris, A.S. President Chaz Whatley and Graduate Student Affairs President Melissa Kwon.

“There’s nothing to lose,” Tom said. “You’ll benefit in some form or personal way. It’s done that for myself. It helps you get the most out of UCSB.”

The event is funded by the Office of Student Life fee initiative and is supported by UCSB organizations such as the Office of Student Life and local businesses including Zodo’s Bowling and Beyond, whichhave donated prizes ranging in value from $100 to $350, Andreatta said.

Other leadership opportunities throughout the year include the Annual Leadership Retreat, sponsored by OSL, held during the first weekend of each fall quarter, and the Leadership Certificate Program, a co-curricular program of about 800 students. Andreatta said the programs help prepare students for the business world.

“It’s skill-building – people are getting professional training.” Andreatta said. “Students could put this on their resumes and really have something to talk about.”